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All the information regarding the SKIN CAP controversy
Did Skin-Cap clear up your psoriasis, too?If you have been suffering from psoriasis for all of your life, then you know that none of these prescription medications available in the U.S. do squat to clear your skin, and that even UVB light-therapy, while helpful, takes months to get results and you risk skin cancer. And if you've tried Skin-Cap Spray you know that IT WORKS. Skin-Cap clears up psoriasis in about 3 weeks, with noticeable improvement after only a few days. Not only that, it often stays away. New patches, if any, are small and respond instantly to the spray.
How many of you, like me, have:
Now I'm sure you've read the warnings about the possible dangers of using Skin-Cap. But there are some more things that you, as a psoriasis sufferer, need to know:
Numerous sources indicate that Skin-Cap is currently available throughout Europe -- and that the US and Canada are the only places where it is still banned.
Does Skin-Cap contain steroids? That, of course, is the question of the year. I certainly don't know for sure. There is alot of conflicting information out there, and you will have to decide for yourself what you trust and what you don't.
Cheminova insists that there are not and have never been any steroids in the product. In a letter to the FDA, Cheminova explains that the Clobetasol peak encountered in United States tests was related to the denaturant used in Spain. The denaturant is what the distillers use to make alcohol in a product undrinkable. Prior to the controversy, Cheminova had been using 96 percent denatured alcohol as a component in Skin-Cap. Cheminova was able to eliminate the Clobetasol peak in tests simply by switching to 99.5 percent denatured alcohol. Although 99.5 percent alcohol is more expensive, in order to eliminate confusion, the company has decided to only use 99.5 percent alcohol in Skin-Cap formulations. They withdrew all 96 percent alcohol formulated Skin-Cap from all markets.
But no matter what the 'truth' ends up being regarding the contents of Skin-Cap, we all know Skin-Cap works. Amazingly. And while alot of people have been saying there are dangers of side-effects, as most of you know, it's pretty difficult to find anyone who has personally experienced any negative side effects. Look at all of our other treatment options out there -- doesn't using Skin-Cap seem far less risky than our alternatives?
The overwhelming majority of people who have contacted me want to be able to use Skin-Cap whether or not it contains steroids. It has been the single most effective product they've ever used to treat their psoriasis, it has drastically changed their lives for the better, and they haven't experienced any side effects. Keeping Skin-Cap available is what this site is about.
That said, here is what we currently know:
Spain authorities have ordered Cheminova to cease production of Skin-Cap. I called Cheminova to verify this and was told that this was the result of tremendous international pressure, and that they were taking the necessary steps to try to rectify the situation.
The Vilana Company (a distributor) says tests are presently being conducted by the University of North Carolina and Utah (recognized laboratories by the FDA) in conjuction with Cheminova, to be presented to the FDA proving there are no steroids in Skin-Cap. In an email received on September 16th, they informed me that "the tests have been concluded, but the results haven't been published yet to anybody and that we will have an definite answer by the end of next week. If you believe in it, this is the time to light the candles and hope for the best."
In a 9/11/97 usenet post, John Kender states that "There is no evidence that any testing by UNC or Utah has taken place. The chemists I have talked to who are experts in such testing say that such alleged MALDI-TOF results would have been laughed out of court anyway; the method is not only unreliable for such a purpose, it is never used for it". Yet, strangely, in a post made one day earlier he said, "I called Exor Laboratories, the former Nova Medical Laboratories, at their 1-800-61-SPRAY number today, twice, talking to two different people. Both independently indicated to me that the FDA has notified them that the results of the private testing requested and arranged by Nova confirm the earlier results announced a month ago: there were steroids in the preparation.
"These tests were supposedly performed at the University of North Carolina and the University of Utah. According to earlier representations of the company, these universities were selected because only their MALDI-TOF machines ("there are only three in the US") were sensitive enough not to be fooled by what the company claimed were "false positive" indications of steroids by other tests."
As far as the study in the Netherlands goes, SOS Skin (a distributor) states that, "Cheminova Laboratories, has taken all legal measures in this matter and was successful in proving that the test was in error. According to the General Manager of Cheminova Mr. Aly Santa MArta, The Dutch Authorities allowed immediate return of Skin-Cap to the Dutch market."
In a 9/19 Skin-Cap Update, the NPF said they contacted the Netherlands Ministry of Health and were informed that the original tests were not found in error and that the formulations teststed contained clobetasol proprionate.
My opinion? Let the FDA straighten it out with the producers of the product, but don't make the patients suffer. It's the first cure we've ever had. What's the worst case scenario? That the FDA determines that all the hype is true and Skin-Cap really does have steroids? What should that mean? Not that they should take the product away! Do what they have to do to make it legal, but make sure it's still available. The overwhelming majority of people who've written to me simply don't care if it has steroids. They're just glad it works for them without side effects.
Statement From Cheminova America Regarding Press Reports On Skin-CapReports in the media contain information concerning the presence of clobetasol propionate — a powerful prescription steroid — in Skin-Cap, an over-the-counter drug formulated with pyrithione zinc as its active ingredient to treat dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis. Skin-Cap is distributed in the United States by Cheminova America Corporation. The media reports reference testing conducted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and various other laboratories.
Cheminova America maintains that steroids are not present in Skin-Cap. This is based on preliminary independent testing conducted by the Company which was negative for the presence of steroids and revealed that the way the product is manufactured may lead to false-positive tests. The Company is actively pursuing further testing to confirm this and is cooperating with the FDA in resolving this issue. In the meantime, it has agreed with the FDA to cease distribution until the matter is conclusively resolved to the satisfaction of both the Company and the FDA.
It should be noted that the same issue arose in Holland, when the Dutch Health Department believed they had found clobetasol propionate in the Skin-Cap formula. Upon meeting with Cheminova officials, Holland authorities have now allowed Skin-Cap back onto the market in that country. The Company notes that Skin-Cap has been sold in the U.S. market for four (4) years and to-date, is not aware of any consumer complaint regarding the safety of Skin-Cap, or its alleged side effect problem.
Cheminova America Corporation notes that Skin-Cap has not been recalled, nor has it been asked by the FDA to recall existing retailer or wholesaler stock of Skin-Cap.
The company is now completing laboratory testing with a well-known and respected U.S. university which it believes will confirm the experience of Skin-Cap users — there are no steroids in the Skin-Cap formula — as evidenced by the personal experience of thousands of Skin-Cap users, as well as the finding of the Holland Government's Health Department.
The opinions of this site are of a personal nature, and not to be understood as a medical advice. Consult a qualified doctor for
diagnosis and treatment of psoriasis.
We don't have any affiliation with the manaufacturers of Skin Cap, and we don't sell any products. If you are interested in Skin Cap, you can find a few Skin Cap's distributors webpages on the Internet: